What is a Student Growth Percentile?

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    Chris Job
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    A Student Growth Percentile (SGP) offers a dynamic new way of looking at growth by comparing a Student’s growth with that of his or her academic peers nationwide. Academic peers, in this context, are students in the same year group with a similar scaled score on a STAR assessment at the beginning of the time period being examined as said student.

    SGP is reported on a 1-99 scale, with lower numbers indicating lower relative growth and higher numbers indicating higher relative growth. For example, if a student has an SGP of 90, it means the student has shown more growth than 89 per cent of academic peers.

    SGPs add significantly to our understanding of how well a student is doing in school. While knowing a student’s level of achievement tells you whether the student is performing below, above or as expected, an SGP indicates what kind of progress the student is making. For example, a student may be performing at a low level, yet experiencing high rates of growth. Conversely, a high-performing student could be stagnating.

    Specifically, SGPs tell you whether a student’s growth is more or less than can be expected.

    For example, without an SGP, a teacher would not know whether an increase of 100 scaled scores represented average, above-average, or below-average growth. This is because students of differing achievement levels in different years grow at different rates. Therefore, a high-achieving Year 3 student grows at a different rate to a high-achieving student in Year 8.

    Because STAR assessments are administered to large groups of students, Renaissance has data for millions of testing events. Using a dataset of information, we are able to calculate growth norms. In other words, we can calculate how much growth is typical for students of different abilities in different years from one time period to another. Thus we can provide a score that is an accurate representation of just how well a student is growing. Furthermore, because all SGP scores are reported on the same scale (1-99) we can calculate a median, or middle score, which represents an SGP for a group, such as a class, year group or school as a whole. Median growth percentiles can be used for comparison purposes.

    For more information, click here.

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